Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/683/12683
Part time workers and the great job con
The Activist is produced by Socialist Party members in the retail and distribution union, Usdaw.
A worker recently sent in the following letter:
Just over a year ago, I took a job with one of the giants in retail. I was offered a seven-hour contract. But I regularly worked over 30 hours a week - not a great wage but at least I got by.
I was annoyed when full-time workers left and they were replaced by other workers on similar contracts to me.
However there was a catch. When I took my holiday, I was paid for only seven hours rather than an average of the hours I worked each week.
Now I have been informed that the store's budget has been cut and the hours I worked are no longer available - now I can't get by.
Surely what is happening to us part-time workers is wrong. But when I ask at work what the union is doing about it - no one knows.
As a union we should be opposing this new exploitation and there are thousands who would join the union if there was a real fight.
A retail worker
With very few full-time jobs available, more and more workers are being forced to take part-time work.
The latest employment figures show 1.26 million people work part-time - the highest number since records began.
The bosses are using part-time jobs to control the workforce and reduce wage bills.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 31 August 2011:
Fighting public sector cuts
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party review